NBA Betting News and Notes Thursday, February 14

NBA Betting News and Notes Thursday, February 14

Heat at Thunder: What Bettors Need to Know
By Covers.com

Miami Heat at Oklahoma City Thunder (-5, 204)

The Oklahoma City Thunder were unable to slow down LeBron James and the Miami Heat in last season's NBA Finals. The task doesn't figure to be any easier when the Thunder host a red-hot James and the streaking Heat on Thursday in the last game for both teams before the All-Star break.

James is on a six-game roll that has never been seen before in NBA annals, a run that has triggered Miami's six-game winning streak. Oklahoma City will be banking on the home-court edge as it seeks to become the second team to reach 40 victories.

James is in uncharted territory during a spectacular stretch that has seen the reigning MVP become the only player in league history to score at least 30 points and shoot 60 percent in six consecutive games. Oklahoma City is coming off a lopsided loss at Utah that featured the first flagrant foul of superstar Kevin Durant's career.

Although the Thunder have lost five in a row to Miami, they own the second-best overall and home record (23-3) in the NBA and have won seven straight at Chesapeake Energy Arena.

The Heat are underdogs for just the third time this season. Miami has won and covered in those two previous games as a pup (at Lakers, at Nuggets). Last season, the Heat were underdogs in only four games (two of those coming at the end of the schedule with starters resting) and lost SU and ATS in all four.

Since the formation of the “Big Three”, Miami has been an underdog 17 times, posting an 8-9 SU mark and an 8-8-1 ATS record in those games. The Heat have lost those eight games by an average margin of 14.47 points and have scored more than 100 points just once in those defeats while giving up 100 or more in six of those eight losses.

Outside of resting players in the final games of the schedule, the Heat have never been more than 4-point underdogs in a game that mattered (+4 at Orlando 11/24/10, lost 104-95).

ABOUT THE HEAT (35-14, 25-24-0 ATS): James and Miami kept their respective streaks alive by pulling away in the final minutes to beat Portland on Tuesday for the 1,000th win in franchise history. James finished 11 of 15, marking the third time he has shot over 73 percent during the amazing six-game run. "I'm at a loss for words," James said. "Like I say over and over, I know the history of the game. I know how many unbelievable players who came through the ranks. ... And for me to be in the record books by myself with such a stat - any stat - it's big-time."

ABOUT THE THUNDER (39-13, 31-19-2 ATS): Prior to getting ambushed by the Jazz, Oklahoma City was on an impressive roll, winning four straight games by an average of 25.3 points. Durant, one of the few players capable of matching James' offensive exploits, scored 33 points in the loss. The three-time scoring champion's numbers have been down due to limited minutes over the past four games, but he had a head-spinning eight-game stretch of his own last month. During that span, Durant scored 30 points in seven of eight games, including outbursts of 52, 42 and 41 points.

TRENDS:

* Heat are 5-0 ATS in the last five meetings.
* Favorite is 4-0 ATS in the last four meetings.
* Home team is 4-0 ATS in the last four meetings.
* Over is 8-2-1 in the last 11 meetings in Oklahoma City.

BUZZER BEATERS:

1. James scored 29 points to lift the Heat to a 103-97 home win over the Thunder on Christmas Day.

2. Oklahoma is a league-best 11-1 following a loss this season.

3. Miami is only 12-11 away from home.

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Thursday Tips
By Kevin Rogers
VegasInsider.com

The first half of the NBA season (even though every team has played at least 50 games) concludes on Thursday night with a top-notch doubleheader on TNT. The battle of Los Angeles takes place for the third time this season with the Clippers and Lakers matching wits at Staples Center to wrap up the night. Things begin in Oklahoma City with an NBA Finals rematch as the Thunder tries to cool off the Heat.

Heat at Thunder

Miami overcame a series opening loss to Oklahoma City in last summer’s Finals to win four straight games and the franchise’s second championship. The Heat kept up that momentum on Christmas night by silencing the Thunder at the American Airlines Arena, 103-97 as 2½-point favorites. The game barely finished ‘under’ the total of 203 due to a 44-point third quarter, while OKC hung around thanks to 32-of-38 shooting from the foul line.
   
Miami is scorching right now with six consecutive victories, including a 5-0 SU and 3-2 ATS homestand. The Heat rallied for a miracle cover in Tuesday's 117-104 triumph over the Blazers as 11-point favorites, while using a 16-2 run in the final four minutes to pick up their straight ATS win. The road has been tough sledding for Erik Spoelstra's team at 12-11, but Miami has posted a 5-3 SU/ATS record the last eight away contests. In two road underdog opportunities this season, the Heat won outright over the Lakers (1/17) and Nuggets (11/15).

The Thunder saw a four-game winning streak go by the boards in Tuesday's 15-point defeat at Utah. Oklahoma City was held to under 100 points in consecutive games for the first time since Christmas, when the Thunder scored 93 at Minnesota and 97 at Miami. Scott Brooks' club has won seven straight games at Chesapeake Energy Arena, while covering all seven times in this stretch. The 'over' is 7-3 in the last 10 home contests for the Thunder, as OKC has broken the 100-point mark in 11 of the past 12 home games.

Clippers at Lakers

Los Angeles is still a Lakers' town, but the Clippers are no longer the little brother that can be pushed around. The Clips are leading the Pacific Division at 37-17, while playing their second game off the long Grammy road trip. The Lakers were also kicked out of Staples Center for a few weeks, as L.A. rallied past Phoenix on Wednesday night to move within three games of .500.

Following a 4-3 SU and 3-4 ATS road swing, the Lakers knocked off the Suns in a revenge spot, 91-85, but failed to cover as 8½-point 'chalk.' Mike D'Antoni's club tallied just nine points in the third quarter, while Kobe Bryant converted only field goal en route to four points in the victory. The Lakers are playing with double-revenge, including a 107-102 setback to the Clippers in early January as 4 ½-point 'dogs. Bryant scored 38 points in that defeat, but the Lakers allowed 50% shooting to the Clips.

Vinny Del Negro's squad has split the last 10 games, while winning three of the last four road contests. Granted, this isn't a real away game (except for the purple and gold court), as the Clippers have covered just three of their last nine matchups on the highway. The Clips are playing with no rest after Wednesday's game against the Rockets, as L.A. has cashed the 'over' in nine of 13 games on the second of a back-to-back.

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Clippers at Lakers: What Bettors Need to Know
By Covers.com

Los Angeles Clippers at Los Angeles Lakers (+3, 199)

The Los Angeles Lakers and the Los Angeles Clippers will head into the All-Star break in very different places in the Western Conference standings. While the Clippers sit in the Lakers’ customary position atop the Pacific Division, the Lakers, who play host to the Clippers at their shared arena on Thursday, are still outside the top eight in the West. The Lakers will be aiming for back-to-back wins heading into the break.

The Lakers have begun to pick things up over the last few weeks and have won eight of their last 11 despite injuries to their big men. Kobe Bryant has remade himself as a distributor while fellow All-Star Dwight Howard plays through a torn labrum in his shoulder. The Clippers have won three in a row and easily dispatched of the Houston Rockets in their return to Staples Center on Wednesday. Chauncey Billups returned to the lineup in that one, giving the team a fully-healthy starting lineup.

ABOUT THE CLIPPERS (38-17, 30-25-0 ATS):
The Clippers have taken each of the first two meetings between the Staples Center rivals this season, posting a 105-95 win as the road team on Nov. 2 and grabbing a 107-102 triumph as the home team on Jan. 4. Chris Paul averaged 24 points and 14 assists in the two contests. The Clippers put together one of the best first quarters in NBA history on Wednesday, going 17-of-22 from the floor en route to 46 points in the frame. Caron Butler and Billups combined to go 5-for-5 from 3-point range in the quarter. The Clippers have averaged 105 points in winning the last three games and have held opponents to 91.3 points in that span. They will be playing the second night of a back-to-back against the Lakers but did not have any player log more than 32 minutes on Wednesday.

ABOUT THE LAKERS (25-28, 21-31-1 ATS): The Lakers are assured of being under .500 at the All-Star break but are a much better team than they were only a few weeks ago, when a loss at Memphis dropped them to 17-25. Bryant did not even record his first field goal until late in Tuesday’s game and finished with only four points as the Lakers held on for a 91-85 win over Phoenix. Bryant has averaged 8.7 assists in the last three games and is handing the ball off frequently during the recent surge while Steve Nash spots up for outside shots and Howard works the low block. The Lakers have also turned in some of their better defensive efforts of late, holding opponents to 96.3 points over the last 11 games. Los Angeles is getting good production out of role players like Antawn Jamison, Metta World Peace and Earl Clark, which gives Bryant some freedom to try new things in the offense. The star guard did not even record a field-goal attempt in the first half on Tuesday, passing up open shots in favor of passes to the likes of Jamison and Clark.

TRENDS:


* Over is 5-0 in the last five meetings with Lakers as home team.
* Over is 7-0 in the last seven meetings.
* Favorite is 4-1 ATS in the last five meetings.
* Home team is 9-3 ATS in the last 12 meetings.
* Clippers are 11-4 ATS in the last 15 meetings.

BUZZER BEATERS:

1. Bryant scored 38 points the last time the teams met and has averaged 26 points in 62 career games against the Clippers.

2. Clippers F Blake Griffin is shooting 62.8 percent in four games since returning from a hamstring injury.

3. Howard is averaging 15.3 points and 12.7 rebounds in the last three games.

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Nba: Streaks, Trends, Notes
sportspic.com

Miami Heat at Oklahoma City Thunder

The two NBA finalists from last season square off for the second time this season. The 'Three Amigos' beat Kevin Durant and company 103-97 as 2.5 point favorites in South Florida on Christmas Day so Thunder will be out to get a small measure of revenge. Heat winning their tune up game at home vs Blazers enter ridding a 6-0 (4-2 ATS) stretch moving the mark to 35-14 (25-24 ATS) but Heat have been having their share of problems winning on the road this season posting a 12-11 (10-13 ATS) on 98.3 points/game. Thunder defeated at Utah last time out bring to the contest a 39-13 (31-19-2 ATS) record including an awesome 23-3 (18-8 ATS) mark on Chesapeake Energy Arena hardwood where the team nets a whopping 109.1 points/game while surrendering just 95.9 per/contest. It appears to be a good spot to back OKC. Thunder are 9-1 SU/ATS off a loss as a favorite including a perfect 5-0 SU/ATS on home court, 6-1 ATS off a loss by 10 or more points, 10-3 ATS after allowing 105 or more points the previous game while Heat are 7-14 ATS this season held at =< 100 points, 3-7 ATS on the road this season after a win by 10 or more points.

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NBA Point Spreads, Betting Guide and Picks
By: The Linemakers 
Sportingnews.com

The NBA takes it midseason break for All-Star festivities this weekend, but we’ll first be treated to a pair of marquee matchups Thursday night. The Miami Heat are 4.5-point underdogs at the Oklahoma City Thunder, and the Clippers are 3-point favorites against the Lakers, their Staples Center co-tenants.

The Heat and Thunder met in last year’s NBA Finals, and no one will be surprised if they're battling for the title again in June.

LeBron James is in the midst of an historic run of individual play, becoming the first player in the NBA ever to score at least 30 points and shoot 60 percent in six straight games. He’s made 70 of his past 96 shots.

This is the second meeting of the season between these two clubs with the Heat winning the Christmas Day matchup, 103-97, as 2.5-point favorites.

Thursday night's 4.5-point spread is about 1.5 points greater than we anticipated.

We’re typically inclined to back a quality team like the Thunder with revenge on their home floor, but we just can’t lay points against the Heat with the way they’ve been playing. LeBron is getting the accolades – and rightfully so – but Dwyane Wade’s been filling up the stat sheet as well, averaging 23.2 points, on 49.2 percent shooting, 5.8 assists and 5.6 rebounds over his last 10 games.

The Thunder are cashing at a healthy 18-8 ATS rate at home, but we’ll take our shot with Miami plus the points, especially with what we consider an inflated line.

In the nightcap, the battle for L.A. continues. But for all the talk heading into this season of a budding rivalry between these clubs, the Lakers have failed to hold up their end of the bargain.

The Clippers have snapped out of a recent 3-8 funk with back-to-back road victories over the Knicks and Sixers. And you can pretty much throw out that poor stretch as the squad is finally healthy and Chris Paul has put together consecutive 20-plus point games.

The Lakers are 25-28 SU and, worse for bettors, 21-31-1 ATS. The Clippers are a nifty 30-24 against the number, even after enduring a 3-9 ATS stretch.

The Lakers have already lost to the Clippers twice this season, 107-102 on Jan. 4 and 105-95 on Nov. 2. While the spread here is about 1.5 points higher than we expected, we’re wondering why things will be any different this time around.

We’ll back the Clippers laying a field goal.

Meanwhile, we’ve been updating you all season on the prop at the LVH asking whether or not the Lakers will make the playoffs. With all the drama in L.A. and the injury to Pau Gasol, we don’t see this group getting through to the postseason, and the price on “No” feels pretty cheap to us right now even as the slight favorite.

NBA Trends:

* The Heat have covered four of their last five games against teams with a winning percentage of .600 or better. They have also covered five straight against the Thunder. The Thunder have covered their last five home games against teams with a winning road record. The Heat have gone OVER the total in their last four games while the Thunder have gone OVER in five of their last seven games. The Thunder are -5 with a total of 205.

* The Clippers have covered only two of their last six games against teams with a losing record. The Lakers have covered only once in their last six games against a team with a winning percentage of .600 or better. The Lakers have gone OVER the total in their last six games against winning teams. The Lakers and Clippers have gone OVER the total in their last seven meetings. The Clippers are 3-point road favorites with a total of 199.

NBA Injuries:

* Heat forward Udonis Haslem (hip) is OUT.

* Heat guard Mike Miller (flu) is questionable.

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NBA Bullet Points
By Goodfella

Oklahoma City -5.5 vs Miami (204.5)

Big time payback game here for OKC on their home floor. We all know about the 4-1 series loss to the Heat in the NBA Finals last season. Miami also beat them this season on Christmas Day at Miami (103-97) as 3.5 pt favs.-

Miami has been underdogs just twice this season (2-0 SU & ATS) at the Lakers and at Denver. The Heat are the biggest underdogs tonight (+5.5), since the Big 3 came together. Miami is just (5-5 SU & ATS) their L/10 road games.-

This is the Heats 1st road game in 11 days, as they swept their 5 game home stand, including double digit wins and covering the last 3 of the home stand (Clipps, LAL, Portland).-

OKC coming off a quick 2 game roadie, crushing the Suns and then losing to by 15 pts at Utah Tuesday Night, in what was a clear look-ahead spot for OKC. The Thunder are (11-1 SU) off a loss this season, and OKC is (5-0 ATS) L/5 home games, vs teams with a winning road record.-

LA Clippers -3 AT LA Lakers (199)

3rd meeting between these teams this season, with the Clippers 2-0 SU & ATS, winning 105-95 as 1.5 pt favs back in early November. Also a 107-102 win as 4.5 pt favs on Jan. 4th-

Clippers not only playing in a back to back spot here, but also playing their 4th game in 5 days tonight. They are coming off an easy double digit win at home over Houston last night. Only Blake Griffin played more than 30 minutes (32) as the Clipps rested starters in the 4th Q. The Clippers are finally healthy and have had a few games playing together, heading into tonight.-

Both teams of course returned from the annual Grammy Award roadie, and the Lakers too care of the Suns (91-85) as 8.5 pt favs on Tuesday Night. The Lakers are (6-1 SU & 4-3 ATS L/7) Home games, and this marks just the 4th time they have been HOME DOGS this season. They are 1-2 SU & ATS thus far, defeating OKC once and failing to win and cover vs OKC another time and also vs the Spurs.-

The Clippers are (6-7 ATS) on zero days rest this season, and the favorite is 4-1 ATS L/5 in this series.-

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